New research reveals water utility sector's impact on U.S. economy
The Water Environment Research Foundation and the Water Research Foundation have released the executive report to a new study exploring the significant impact that the water utility sector has on the United States economy.
ALEXANDRIA, VA, and DENVER, CO, Sept. 9, 2014 -- Today, the Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) and the Water Research Foundation (WRF) released the executive report to a new study exploring the significant impact that the water utility sector has on the United States economy.
Based on the planned operating and capital investments of 30 public water utilities, the National Economic and Labor Impacts of the Water Utility Sector (WRF research project #4566) determined that these water, wastewater and stormwater utilities will contribute approximately $524 billion to the U.S. economy over the next decade and will support roughly 289,000 permanent jobs.
Results of the study indicated that investments by utilities generate similar job impacts as compared to investments in clean energy, transportation and healthcare. In addition, these investments generate more jobs per $1 million than investments in military spending or personal income tax.
Moreover, the total annual employment impact of the water utility sector exceeds the total workforce of many major cities, including New Orleans, Miami and Pittsburgh, and the combined economic contribution by utilities exceeds the gross regional product of metropolitan areas of Chattanooga and Santa Barbara.
Throughout the coming decade, the 30 participating utilities will undertake projects to replace aging infrastructure, improve local water quality, expand services to accommodate increased demand, and respond to a number of additional needs. These projects will sustain more than 131,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
In addition to the significant number of jobs sustained by the water utility sector, utilities in the study anticipate major workforce replacement hiring needs, with nearly one-third of their existing workforce currently eligible for retirement. The current workforce replacement needs of the water industry sector exceed the nationwide average.
About the Water Environment Research Foundation
The Water Environment Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization formed in 1989, is America's leading independent scientific research organization dedicated to wastewater and stormwater issues. For more information, visit www.werf.org.
About the Water Research Foundation
The Water Research Foundation sponsors research that supports the water community in holistically and cooperatively managing water from all sources to meet social, environmental, and economic needs. WRF's research provides reliable and relevant solutions to the most critical challenges facing the water community today and into the future. For more information, visit www.WaterRF.org.